A trip around the U.S. can’t be complete without a trip to NYC! Lucky for me, this leg of the trip fell during the week of 4th of July, so I knew I was in for a good time. I was staying with a friend that had moved to the city about six months prior, so he was still a good sport about going around to all the touristy spots!
Our first day was spent walking/subway(ing) around the city, starting with a trek across the Brooklyn Bridge. We considered biking across and I am so glad we didn’t. The bridge was swamped and people weren’t exactly jumping to get out of your way. My advice, explore on foot, it’s definitely a must see. We’ve all seen this bridge in dozens of movies and television shows, so it was pretty exciting for me to see it in person.
After the Brooklyn Bridge, we walked over to see the Freedom Tower and check out the memorial. I had never been to NYC pre 9/11 so I never saw the Twin Towers in person, but standing there and seeing all the people looking up at the building that now stood in their place was a very intense moment. I looked around and found it almost impossible to imagine what that day must have been like for those standing right where we were. I really wanted to visit the museum but there were a ton of people there and I only had a few days in the city. I will definitely be planning better next time to insure I can make it there.
After visiting the Freedom Tower, we headed over to ride the Staten Island Ferry so we could check out our lady liberty without paying to walk around Ellis Island. The ferry itself was very crowded and hot, but it was worth it to get a closer (free) look at the Statue of Liberty.
We also walked through Washington Square Park where we got to watch an anticlimactic street performance. If you’ve been there, you’ve probably seen the guys jumping over each other, as well as members of the crowd. They did do some impressive jumps but the one they were building up they never ended up doing, whomp whomp. That being said, their commentary of the crowd was hilarious so if you see them performing, stop and listen for a few minutes.
Next up was to walk the High Line. It was a really neat way to take in the city from a different perspective. There were plants, flowers, murals, and sculptures along the way so you never ran out of beautiful things to look at. Like everywhere in NYC, it was very crowded, but if you’re in the area, it’s worth a leisurely stroll. Also, there are ice cream trucks at both ends, so there’s that.
After the High Line, we headed over to Chelsea Market. It was full of neat shops, bookstores, specialty food vendors, and restaurants. We had another place in mind for lunch so we just walked through, but it’s definitely somewhere you could spend a couple hours and grab a bite to eat.
We went to a gluten free pizza place I found for lunch, but it was nothing to write home about. It was on the pricer side and it was just your standard gluten free pizza. However, I did get to try a cider I had never heard of. I had the currant flavor and it was quite interesting. It had a mild grape flavor that I enjoyed, but again, nothing to write home about.
Later on, we took a walk through Central Park. We tried to watch some older men play baseball but the one “batting” refused to swing because he claimed none of the pitches were good enough. After about 10 minutes of watching that train wreck, we decided to go watch some high schoolers play kickball, which was much more entertaining. As expected, there were people everywhere cooking out, having a picnic, playing with their kids, etc.
On the 4th of July, my friend and his roommates had a party on their roof, which was basically a bunch of people from the building on their roof, with their collective friend groups, making it a huge group of strangers sharing food and drinks and watching the fireworks- it was a blast.
On the 3rd of July we actually left the city to have a little BBQ/pool party out in Staten Island. It was the perfect calm day away from the city. It was so relaxing, that I didn’t even take any photos! The photo above however, shows the awesome views from one of the friend’s apartment building.
As always, the trip to NYC was a whirlwind full of walking, eating, drinking, and in this case, sweating and getting rained on. Looking back on the trip, I actually didn’t take very many photos 🙁 So this post is more of a highlight reel of all the touristy things I did!
If you’ve been to NYC, what would you say is a “must do?” If you’ve never been, what is the number one thing you’re dying to do?